swad·​dle ˈswä-dᵊl How to pronounce swaddle (audio)
swaddled; swaddling ˈswäd-liŋ How to pronounce swaddle (audio)

transitive verb

: to wrap (an infant) with swaddling clothes
: envelop, swathe
legs swaddled in bandages
: restrain, restrict
marriage … swaddled him in a domesticity he came to loathe Nina Auerbach

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Example Sentences

He swaddled the baby in a blanket.
Recent Examples on the Web Just by name alone, who wouldn't be interested—and who wouldn't want to swaddle themselves in one for a day of comfort? Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 23 Apr. 2022 Neither her nor Morgan appears to know how to properly swaddle the poor kid, let alone rock or shush it to sleep. Erik Kain, Forbes, 25 Oct. 2021 The Baby-Sitters Club is here to swaddle you in nostalgia (and help keep your offspring occupied). Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 9 Sep. 2021 Sally Hansen Hydrating Foot Mask comes with two paper socks that swaddle dry feet in a cozy blend of vitamin E, macadamia oil, and shea butter. Erica Metzger, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Sep. 2021 Who can resist a character who gallantly proffers her Hermès silk scarf to swaddle a newborn? Heller Mcalpin, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 June 2021 Gill likes to make the sabzi for her daughters and swaddle it inside warm pita, or another tender bread, to make thick, satisfying wraps. New York Times, 26 May 2021 Odfjell Vineyards, Orzada Carignan, Maule, 2018, $22 Concentrated black fruits swaddle the brooding feral, heart of this earthy Carignan. Lauren Mowery, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021 Part of that is having a fantastic costume team ready with robes and hot water bottles and standing by to swaddle them in between. Jean Bentley, Billboard, 6 Jan. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swaddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History


Middle English swadelen, swathelen, probably alteration of swedelen, swethelen, from swethel swaddling band, from Old English; akin to Old English swathian to swathe

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of swaddle was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near swaddle

Cite this Entry

“Swaddle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swaddle. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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